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Arcadia: a post-NFA/season 8 fic

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  • Arcadia: a post-NFA/season 8 fic

    Moving on was not Spike's strong suit when it came to Buffy. He'd made the decision to enough times, and he'd told Angel he had til he was blue in the face. But here he was, back in the old position: outside her life, looking in. Or stalking, as less charitable people might call it (not mentioning any Angels).

    ?Course, stalking her took more effort now she was living in a castle in the middle of nowhere.

    But if a bloke can face a demon army, plus dragon, and survive, he can think up an excuse to visit old friends. Who mostly don't like him very much, and were probably better termed casual allies than friends.

    So far he hadn't got much further than, "So, I was in the area and I thought I'd come say howdy." He'd have to think fast ? he was only a few miles from the castle now, and his "borrowed" car would be in sight of the battlements before too long.

    Of course, in the fantasy version of how all this would play out, he wouldn't have a chance to get into his excuse, on account of Buffy melting into his arms and telling him he didn't have to explain anything, that all she wanted from him was a kiss.

    Fantasy Buffy was a bit of a pathetic wet, though, so he didn't entertain her presence for long. So what if it was patently obvious that he'd just come because he wanted to see her, and because he was hoping against hope that she'd have him back. Or?no, not back. At all, for the first time, properly have him.

    He found himself slowing the car, not ready to reach his destination just yet. The top of the car was down ? it was dark now, and the stars were out in force. Funny. Being in LA all that time, he'd almost forgotten there were stars at night. Or certainly, THIS many stars.
    Spike slowed the car to a halt and sat with one hand on the wheel, leaning back and gazing up at that milky tangle of lights. The road was deserted, he hadn't passed a car in fifty miles. He could see the dark shape of the castle in the distance.

    If Buffy were on the battlements right now, she might see his lights. Except, he realized, he didn't have them on. Didn't need them, when there were no other cars around. He was glad that he couldn't be seen.
    What would he say to her? "So, I'm not dead, and I've been working for Angel at the heart of an evil corporate behemoth, until we essentially brought on an apocalypse that wiped out half LA, though that was more Angel than me, and by the way, I lied to Angel and told him I was going to Barcelona to fight a slime demo, leaving him to hold the fort in California, after swearing to him that I wouldn't make contact with you because the Senior Partners are still tracking us wherever we go and might just have you killed for having anything to do with us so I've just put you in mortal danger. Sorry about that. Want to go on a date?"

    Something like that?

    His train of thought was interrupted by voices, somewhere out in the heather. Looking through the darkness with his keen night eyes, he made out two pale shapes, running hither and thither. Humans, both. He caught the faintest whiff of their scent and?one of them was Buffy. He felt something like terror at the thought of seeing her again.

    Spike hopped lightly out of the car, not bothering with the door, and strode silently across the springy heather towards the scent ? the shapes were invisible again ? perhaps they'd gone behind a clump of trees. Yes, the black shape ahead was trees.

    When he reached the copse, he peered between the trunks and saw Buffy sitting on a tree stump in a glade. She was giggling, sat talking to someone out of sight. But Spike's full focus was on the slayer. She was dressed in training clothes, her hair in a ponytail. Looked younger than he remembered, somehow ? her face a little fuller. Her chest?well, that too. Sleeping and eating better no doubt, than when he'd last seen her. The final days of Sunnydale had NOT been a rest cure, no doubt about it.

    Here, she looked relaxed and healthy, fair glowing in the moonlight. If he'd been a hundred years younger, he might've written a poem about it, seeing her sitting there like some?wood nymph.

    Oh, shut up, you ninny. Just because a girl's sitting in a field, doesn't mean you have to come over all lady of bloody shallot about it.
    She looked too happy to be a Romantic poem heroine in any case. Who was she with? He leaned around the tree that was hiding him. Ah, Xander. Spike smiled. The boy looked almost like a man now. More chiseled, muscular. Seemed to be favouring black nowadays. Tightish black t-shirt, jeans.
    Bloody cheek?the bloke's stealing my look!

    But he didn't really begrudge him. In fact, he surprised himself, feeling almost warm and fuzzy to see his former?nemesis? Roommate? What HAD Xander been? A self-righteous prat with a bug up his arse the size of a fist, was what. Still. There was something about the Scoobies that you couldn't help but feel just a little bit jolly when they were about. A far cry from Team Angel, who ? even when they were all still alive and not waging a war of attrition in a hell-struck Los Angeles ? had been about as much fun to hang around of an evening as a nursing home for autistic monks.

    Xander and Buffy were chatting away. Spike could hear most of it ? something about Dawn being "back to normal", whatever that meant?about Buffy's theory that "the kiss was Satsu" (Spike wanted to hear more about that?)?.about some bugger called General Voll (the conversation took a less happy turn when his name came up). Sounded like Maggie Walsh without the charming sense of fun.

    Spike realized he'd been standing there for at least ten minutes. Don't be a coward, get to it.

    He was in spitting distance of the woman of his dreams ? the person he would rather spend time ? eternity ? with than anyone else on this planet. All he had to do was stroll on over. What was the worst that could happen? She'd tell him to go away. At least that way he'd know. All these months of wondering, driving himself bloody barmy thinking about what it might be like to see her again, what she might say, what might happen?.time to find out. All he had to do was step out from behind that tree and?

    On the log in the glade, Buffy leaned forward towards Xander, and kissed him. Xander didn't seem surprised. He leaned into the kiss, drawing Buffy in his arms, closer to him. They were kissing, and it was clear from the ease and tenderness of the kiss that this was something they were in the habit of doing ? though, not so much in the habit that they weren't getting pretty carried away pretty quickly. Buffy's hands were working at the bottom of Xander's shirt now, lifting it up, slipping her fingers underneath to touch his stomach and?

    Spike froze, then shrank back behind the tree, cursing silently. Oh you bloody idiot. You bloody, sodding, prevaricating, namby-pamby bloody IDIOT! All this time he'd been putting off going to see her, thinking he wasn't good enough. All that time, Xander Harris, little bloody snake in the grass had been worming his way into Buffy's affections. No doubt, there were pretty slim pickings out here in the middle of nowhere. So, in the end, she'd turned to that?smug little bastard.

    Bugger. Bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger, bugger.

    Spike pulled himself up. Couldn't bring himself to glance back ? not THAT much of a bloody mascochist?but he could hear Buffy's happy, rapid breathing. He knew that breathing. He could smell Buffy's?

    Walk away. Walk away now.

    Spike didn't just walk, he ran. All the way back to the car, silently as he could. He vaulted into the convertible, revved the engine and swerved it round in a screeching U-turn, back the way he'd come.

    He snorted with bitter laughter as he drove. There was one consolation in all of this. Not a good one. But still?.

    At least she didn't choose Angel.

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --